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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 30, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 13
En Vogue brought the party to Jazz Alley
Arts & Entertainment
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En Vogue brought the party to Jazz Alley

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

En Vogue
March 22
Dimitriou's Jazz Alley


These girls weren't messing around. After a delayed start due to technical difficulties during their warmups, En Vogue took the stage at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley and cut to the chase. Their 75-minute performance, the first of six on four consecutive nights at the downtown venue, featured nearly every major hit by the successful R&B act.

In front of a house just a few seats shy of a complete sell-out, the group - Cindy Herron-Braggs, Terry Ellis, and Maxine Jones - began the show with shortened versions of 'Love Don't Love You' and 'No No No (Can't Come Back).' Each wearing black slacks and a sparkly top of the same color, the ladies then weaved several of their known songs into a 10-minute medley that included 'My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It),' 'You Don't Have to Worry,' 'Lies,' and 'Riddle.'

Right out of the gate, the trio sounded fantastic. Paired with the fact that they still look hot, En Vogue have not gotten old. They've ripened.

'We appreciate the welcome,' the girls said on a quick break. Referring to this particular evening they exclaimed, 'It's about partying!'

Paying tribute to female artists who paved their way, the group reeled off a series of covers from The Supremes, Cheryl Lynn, Donna Summer, Anita Ward, The Emotions, Labelle, and Tina Turner, to name a few. During 'Ring My Bell,' Ellis reached her microphone down to allow a male fan at the front to sing the chorus. He did so fearlessly and with enjoyment. The atmosphere, by this point, was festive. The audience was clapping and singing, and some at the bar were dancing.

The second half of En Vogue's set was slower paced, as the trio performed standard-length renditions of each song backed by a three-person band. It began with a ferocious belting of 'Giving Him Something He Can Feel' and then a funky run-through of 'Whatta Man,' which included a big hand wave from the crowd. After two numbers in a row from the Soul Flower project, an album released on an independent label, the Oakland-based unit played a smoldering version of 'Free Your Mind,' where the women asked the audience to 'pump your fists in the air.'

'Don't Let Go' and 'Hold On,' which found Ellis wailing on the intro, closed it all out. There were no encores, but there was enough rapturous cheer in the room to warrant one.

It's hard to call En Vogue's appearance in Seattle a comeback. They never went anywhere. The lineup has changed slightly, but they still look and sound great. They also appear to be having fun, leaving no doubt that there's a lot more where this came from.

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